Display/Donation of Public Art

The purpose of this policy is to outline the policies and procedures by which the East Routt Library District, Bud Werner Memorial Library (Library) will accept donated or loaned art, or commission pieces for display.

Art Committee:

The Bud Werner Memorial Library Board of Trustees will establish an Art Committee to oversee public art planning and decision-making. The purpose of the Art Committee is to provide guidance, leadership and support to the Bud Werner Memorial Library Board of Trustees in its goal to obtain a limited selection of high quality public art to be on display at the Bud Werner Memorial Library.

Public art is defined as publicly accessible original art that enriches the library as it evokes meaning into the public realm.  Public art takes a variety of forms and incorporates the site, and considers the context and the audience.

The committee will consist of citizens, art professionals, design professionals, and Library Board. The Library Director will provide administrative support to the committee. The Committee will be selected by the Library Director and one member of the Library Board of Trustees. The chairperson will be the Library Board member appointed to the committee. The individuals proposed as Art Committee members will be presented to the Library Board of Trustees for approval.  Committee members will serve a three year rotating term, and may be appointed for two additional terms (9 consecutive years total). During the evaluation of application materials, the committee will meet as often as necessary. Additional advisory members may be included as needed for specific tasks.

Responsibilities of the Art Committee include:

  • Determining sites to be used, including consideration of an entrance piece to the Library, to be used as an identifier.
  • Prioritizing its tasks and projects to be accomplished.
  • Establishing the commissioning process and overseeing the selection of artists
  • Recommending acceptance of art work for the Library’s collection to the Library Board. 
  • Establishing guidelines and procedures for temporary exhibits and displays. 
  • Determining the methods for implementing projects.  The Art Committee will identify project objectives, criteria, geographic restrictions for eligibility, budgets, timelines, etc., and will recommend to the Board of Trustees any resources needed, including the hiring of consultants or funds for art procurement.
  • Recommending policy revisions to the Board of Trustees.  
  • Determining the need for and role of volunteers and consultants in specific projects.
  • Providing a report to the Board of Trustees documenting the selection of works and upcoming exhibits.

Acceptance of Artwork into the Collection:

Artwork commissioned or purchased for inclusion in the Bud Werner Memorial Library’s Art Collection shall be made formally through an established review procedure overseen by the Art Committee, and will subject to final approval by the Library Board.

In the selection of artists and artwork, goals include:

  • Creating a learning experience;
  • Maximizing the use of artists in the community (as resources);
  • Encouraging repeat viewings;
  • Using regional and national talent;
  • Avoiding clutter and overdoing;
  • Using permanent and temporary art;
  • Serving interior and exterior audiences;
  • Ensuring durability, low maintenance, and code compliance;
  • Minimizing financial impact of Werner Library for maintenance, upkeep, or staff time;
  • Ensuring sensitivity to the site and the architecture of Werner Library;
  • Appealing to all ages;
  • Responding to all goals and objectives for the project; and
  • Ensuring high artistic quality and craftsmanship.

Accessioning is a formal process whereby artwork is accepted by the Werner Library and a permanent archival file and database record is created to document the artwork disposition, terms of its creation, and artist’s statement and intent. Accessioning artwork into the Werner Library art collection implies the application of professional standards of care, display and maintenance of the artwork.

Artworks will be accessioned into the Werner Library art collection only upon completion of all facets of the commissioning or purchasing contract.

The Artist’s signed contract transferring title for the artwork and clearly defining the rights and responsibilities of all parties will accompany every acquisition.

Acquisitions result from the projects of the Art Committee, except in the case of gifts, which will be reviewed and accessioned in accordance with the policy on gifts. In the instance of art accepted that requires high maintenance, an additional gift of funds for maintenance may be required.

Artists and Artwork Selection:

When commissioning a piece of artwork, artists shall be selected to participate through one of the following ways:

  1. Open Competition: The Art Committee may solicit through public advertisement requests for artists’ slides, resume and letters of interest. The panel will review submittals and choose an artist that meets the Art Committee’s requirements.
  2. Invitational or Limited Competition: The Art Committee may invite a limited number of artists to submit applications or prepare proposals. From this limited pool, the Art Committee may choose an artist based upon established criteria that are relevant and unique to each project.
  3. Direct Selection: The Art Committee may recommend a specific artist who will be invited to submit a proposal for a specific site for their review. Upon acceptance of the proposal the artist is commissioned for the project.
  4. Artist Rosters: Because some projects require specialized skills, experience or technical abilities, the Art Committee may recommend that an artist(s) be chosen from established, juried rosters.
  5. Unsolicited proposals: members of the Art Committee are always open to learning about artists and their work, however, unsolicited submissions from artists will only be given consideration if they are proposed gifts to the Library per guidelines in section (Gifts of Artwork).

Conflict of Interest:

The following individual(s) may not apply for artwork commissions: employees of the Bud Werner Memorial Library, Trustees of the East Routt Library District, members of the Art Committee; or spouses, domestic partners, or immediate family of the above.

Gifts of Artwork:

The Bud Werner Memorial Library may receive offers of artwork for the public art collection.  The potential donor shall make a proposal that will be presented to the Art Committee. In considering acceptance of works of art the Art Committee will utilize the following criteria:

  • Does the work further the overall identity of the facility and enhance the existing collection?
  • Is the work of high quality?
  • Is the work durable?
  • Does the gift include a maintenance endowment, and provisions for lighting, security and insurance?
  • Is there an appropriate location site available for the work?
  • Is the offer of donation adequately documented?  (as outlined below)
  • Is the gift safe for public display?; and
  • Are all legal issues addressed, including but not limited to the ability of the current legal owner to deliver unrestricted clear legal title together with all applicable copyrights, patents or other title rights in or to the item(s) without any limitations or conditions on the Library’s ownership and the time and costs required to acquire the item(s)?

In some cases, the Art Committee may elect to accept a gift for a specified loan period and thus it will not be formally accessioned. The following considerations will be made concerning the acceptance of loaned item(s):

  • The condition of the item(s) and possibilities for damage to the item(s) to be loaned;
  • The capabilities of the Library to handle, house and care for the loaned item(s);
  • The agreement of the owner to bear the costs of the loan;
  • The ability of the Library to obtain adequate insurance coverage for the loaned item(s) and agreement of the owner to bear the cost of insurance coverage;
  • The time period and conditions of the loan.

The Library Board has no obligation to accept, display, or maintain any items donated to the Library. The Art Committee has the right to determine what item(s) offered to it for public display will be accepted, displayed or maintained by the Library subject to final approval by the Library Board. Once an item is accepted, the Library shall be the sole owner of the donated item(s) and will have the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, except as limited by written title documents, to deaccession any donated item(s) without providing notice to or obtaining the consent of the donor.

Removal of Artwork from the Collection:

Deaccessioning is the process for withdrawal of an artwork from public exhibition through storage, loan or disposal.  Deaccessioning standards shall be such that they are applied after careful evaluation, and not because of changes in fashion and taste.

Criteria for Deaccessioning: An artwork may be considered for deaccession under the following conditions:

  • The artwork has been damaged to the extent that repair is impractical or unfeasible, or the cost of repair or renovation is excessive in relation to the original cost of the work.
  • The artwork is no longer appropriate for the site because of changes in use, character or design of the site
  • The artwork endangers public safety.
  • The artwork requires excessive maintenance or has faults of design or workmanship.
  • The artwork is of inferior quality of other works in the collection, or is incompatible with the rest of the collection.
  • The security and condition of the artwork cannot be reasonably guaranteed in the present site.
  • There is not a suitable site for the artwork.
  • The artwork has been stolen
  • The Library wishes to replace the artwork with a work of more significance or appropriateness by the same artist.
  • The artwork was purchased as a semi-permanent acquisition and the Library’s predetermined period of obligation is terminated.

Resitting Artworks

The Library reserves the right to relocate or put in storage works of art without the written permission of the artist. 

If a piece of artwork was commissioned and created for a specific site, the artist will be notified of the Library Art Committee’s decision to relocate the piece. If the alteration, modification or relocation should occur with the objection of the artist, the work will no longer be represented as the work of the Artist, if the artist should make such a request in writing.

Temporary Exhibit Program

On occasion the Art Committee may commission temporary art exhibits by professional artists.  The Art Committee will establish guidelines for temporary art exhibits. The exhibits shall promote art, other cultural appreciation, and visitation to the Library. The exhibit shall be suitable for viewing in a public space and should be reflective of the Library and its mission.  In general, no commercial activity will be associated with the exhibit unless it raises funds for the Library.

On occasion temporary displays of work by non-professional artists may be presented to the committee for approval. The committee is to be informed of the duration of the display and the manner in which the materials will be displayed. Great care is to be taken to insure the materials are displayed in a professional manner.


Bud Werner Memorial Library
Public Art Policy Final Draft
Adopted by the Board of Trustees April 28, 2010